I think of you so often! Each day holds small reminders of all of you and I love you all.
I found out an answer to my question of why we pray in the name of Christ. It's because when we say, "in Christ's name," we are aligning our will with Jesus' will, and we are showing Heavenly Father we are trying to be faithful and obedient (any input? comments welcome).
This week had more adventures! We now have two teachers, Mai-san (Tsukamoto Shimai) and Wilcox Kyodai (Brother). Wilcox now also has an investigator persona. We started teaching Takeuchi-san last week and have had two lessons with him. We have also had two more lessons with Mai. Wallace Shimai and I hope our Japanese, though broken, is understandable. With the spirit's help perhaps we can make sense. We prepare every free moment. All study periods are devoted to figuring out what Mai-san and Takeuchi-san need to hear. I also want to figure out what Tsukamoto Shima and Wilcox Kyodai need to hear because they (as well as their investigator personas) are learning, progressing, as well as we are.
This morning, Wallace Shima and I slept in, for half an hour! It was great. With all the activity and noise, I don't know how we did it, but it was needed rest.
Friday was busy; we had our first lessons with Tsukamoto Shimai and she went over teaching tips with us and grammar. Wilcox Kyodai teaches in the afternoons now while she takes mornings. Even on Saturdays we have class.
Sunday was meetings, split up church, James and Wallace Shimaitachi (plural of sister) taught one of the lessons; afterwards Wallace Shimai and I wwatched the film Joseph Smith: The Restauration (in Japanese!) :O I understood bits and pieces. Knowing the story helps.
Please send your mailing addresses (normal mail) so I can write you letters.
I met one of the French teachers and it was fun just to chat, to use French, and to talk in a language I know better. I also met two Elders going to Berlin this afternoon, and showed off my German. Poor guys had been in the MTC for only two days. But i *was* nice to them, saying mainly, "German is cool," Deutsch ist toll. Simple stuff like that.
Everyone seems to be very stressed about the language they are learning, but for me, of everything here that stresses me, Japanese is not taht high up on the list. Every time I walk into the classroom, I am so excited to start! I love Japanese, I love my classmates, and my teachers are the sweetest people. It's so fun. I love listening to the language, even if I don't understand. Wallace Shimai is getting better and it is fun to watch her progress.
I told her funny things about me over the week, like how nerdy I am, how I love singing in empty bathrooms, how I cannot eat cafeteria chicken cordon bleu (French form of cooked chicken). She said in response that she'll make a presentation of fifty things no one knew about me. Sister Wallace is funny and very sweet.
The two of us are also reading The Book of Mormon in Japanese together. Five verses a day. We scream each time we understand a word in a verse. It helps our reading success that God, Jesus Christ, and Nephi are such common words. As well as prophet and Spirit!
Spiritual Thought for the week: This week's devotional was about the Plan of Salvation, the plan of being spirits before mortal life, choosing to come to earth, and returninging to God after we die. It was very basic. However, the closing hymn sang was my ABSOLUTE favorite, "The Lord is My Shepherd."
I was thinking about how Jesus does not view us as a herd. He sees us as individual sheep, individual people. He sees us wandering off and comes to us, running, and helping us back to green pastures with still waters.
Currently, there is a New Mission President Seminar going on at the MTC. Several apostles are here now, and we eat in the gym. We've had Taco Bell and Subway catered to us. In class, a mission president and his wife spoke to us. They are going to one of the Brazil missions. We talked about prayer and I was in awe of how smart all of the people in my district are.
The energy in my district, between everyone, is amazing. We all contribute to helping each other learn, to setting group goals, laughing together at our Japanese, and telling each other funny stories. They are all very nice.
The MTC has these weird inventions called sack lunches. When missionaries are lazy, or when they don't want to put on pretty or very presentable clothing, or don't want to fight the cafeteria crowds, we can get lunches "around back." It's kind of odd. The sack lunches are not good, however, even worse than the normal food. And you can't get wraps; wraps are the only really edible thing here.
For exercise and gym two days ago, we combined scripture study, lesson prep, and exercise. My companion (doriyo) and I walked around the building and read Jonah aloud as we explored the building. It was very fun. Jonah is not my favorite. However, Daniel in the lions' den is a favorite. We are planning on teaching Mai about Daniel next week.
We are moving back to our old apartment because there are bats in our new building. I was disappointed. I like the new building, plus I wanted to see the bats. However, bats have diseases. So after this email, we are moving back.
I love you all!